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Tesla's 'Master Plan, Part Deux' Includes Trucks, Buses and Ride-Sharing (latimes.com) 176

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Los Angeles Times: After teasing Part 2 of his "master product plan" for over a week, Elon Musk finally delivered. Los Angeles Times reports: "In a blog post published on the automaker's website, Musk introduced a multiyear, four-pronged strategy that includes new kinds of Tesla vehicles, expanded solar initiatives, updates on Tesla's 'autopilot' technology and a ride-sharing program. Commercial trucks, buses, a 'future compact SUV' and a 'new kind of pickup truck' will be added to Tesla's fleet of electric cars. A heavy-duty truck called the Tesla Semi and a shrunken bus that Musk called a 'high passenger density urban transport' vehicle are in early development stages 'and should be ready for unveiling next year,' he said. The smaller bus would be designed without a center aisle, with seats close to the entrances, and would be able to automatically pace themselves with traffic, the post said. The bus driver would become a 'fleet manager.' Musk also used the master plan to defend his bid for rooftop solar power provider SolarCity and said he aims to make Tesla's Autopilot robotic driver-assist system 10 times safer than cars that humans drive manually. Musk also plans to move Tesla into the popular ride-sharing business, not only with an Uber-like fleet but also with an app that lets Tesla owners rent out their vehicles when they're not using them, perhaps defraying a portion of their auto loans. This will happen, he said, 'when true self-driving is approved by regulators,' a turn of events that's at least several years away."
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Tesla's 'Master Plan, Part Deux' Includes Trucks, Buses and Ride-Sharing

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  • to see the Tesla hating Luddites flail.

    • You know who else had a Master Plan?

      HITLER!


      I always said that Elon Musk character was a ridiculous caricature of a Bond villain and just plain bad writing.
      But then we got a billionaire reality TV star, who was involved with Professional Wrestling, going to be President and the audience isn't howling for a purge of the writers' bullpen. Demand more sensible scripting of reality.
    • by jcr ( 53032 )

      I don't hate Tesla, and in fact I expect to be quite grateful to them for making me a lot of money when I short their stock in the not-too-distant future. Apple's going to crush them like Blackberry.

      -jcr

  • He hasn't finished the first master plan yet.

    • He hasn't finished the first master plan yet.

      Well, this was more a move to try reclaiming some positive PR ground than anything else. He didn't really state anything other than the obvious direction everyone already knows the autonomous vehicle space is heading.

      But he had to do something... unfair or not, Tesla's been receiving a lot of bad press lately.

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Thursday July 21, 2016 @08:16AM (#52553357) Homepage Journal

    He should try trains. It might be easier to get the autopilot working.

  • It's pretty much all been done, hasn't it? Even electric pickups have been done. They've been done with independent rear suspension, with or without unibody, cab-forward, cab-over, mid-engine, rear flat engine, etc etc etc. Granted, most of those were concepts, but some of them were production somewhere, somewhen, or even still are. What could possibly be new and still reasonably be called a pickup?

    • Show me a current model 1/2 ton pickup that has an electric drive factory option. It doesn't exist at any price. VIA converts Chevys, and puts the equivalent of a 4 cylinder NA gas engine (~300ft-lb peak torque, 150ft-lb continuous torque) in a vehicle which can only carry 2/3 the load of the equivalent truck (1000lb vs 1500+). Oh, and it's $80k for the equivalent of a $35k appointed gas truck.

      The 3 majors have fumbled the ball pretty completely on electric / hybrid trucks. Hell, they've fumbled the ball on

      • by eepok ( 545733 )
        Very much this. I'm actually in the market for replacing a large number of small (Ford Ranger) and medium (Ford F-150) pickups with trucks using more sustainable fuel tech. I'll take a simple hybrid, but would prefer a plug-in hybrid or pure electric if possible. And you're right. They don't exist yet. Drinkypoo is talking out his arse. Similarly, I think Musk is talking out his arse and creating hype to bolster stock prices.
    • Well it was the same story with electric cars too..
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Rei ( 128717 )

      Well, I was hopeful when I heard "a new type of pickup"... and then quickly disappointed. Here's what I was hoping to see.

      From an aerodynamics perspective, increasing a vehicle's height or width costs you energy, but increasing its length does not. Actually, just the opposite - a longer vehicle gives you more room for a more gradual taper and so can even decrease energy consumption.

      The biggest hauling need in a pickup in a work environment is generally for things that are significantly longer than they a

      • by EndoplasmicRidiculus ( 1181061 ) on Thursday July 21, 2016 @09:48AM (#52554067)
        What a silly comment. That's not a concept from Tesla, but a mockup from a fan. That it's a Model X front photoshopped onto a truck should've clued you off.
      • Are you seriously unable to tell the difference between an official company sponsored concept and some fanboy renderings?

      • by q4Fry ( 1322209 )

        I'm curious about your pickup truck concept. In my head, I'm imagining a somewhat-flattened cigar shape. I rather suspect that parking would be a bear, and that there'd be a serious possibility for rollovers.

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          If you wanted to take it to extremes, you'd get something along the lines of a larger, heavy duty Aptera [inevitable.org]. Although for a pickup that's probably going a bit far. ;) At the very least, you need some depth on the rear end, and some degree of rear wheel spacing for load stability.

          Re: rollovers, however, EVs are naturally resistant, because you keep the batteries on the underside of the vehicle.

          One of my more extreme concepts is to have all of the wheels as self-contained, independent azipods, each with their

  • by fortfive ( 1582005 ) on Thursday July 21, 2016 @08:26AM (#52553415)

    I've been dreaming of it ever since I saw the movie.

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      I've been dreaming of it ever since I saw the movie.

      They did exist, but the manufacturers did a total recall on them. However it seems that you've erased that fact from your memory.

  • by cmseagle ( 1195671 ) on Thursday July 21, 2016 @08:28AM (#52553427)
    ...it'll be at least 20 times safer than people who drive automatic.
  • What is it with this guy? He announces all kind of grand plans before he can even demonstrate he has the basic things right.
  • Where are the interconnected cars we were/are promised?
    Where's the open standards that would allow - say - a Ford 20 miles ahead to warn an Audi or a Toyota of an icy patch, a crash or traffic slowdown?
    Hell, GM has had OnStar for ages and it cannot do that even within its own brand.
    Seems like the OEMs and the Googles, Apples etc. are too busy duking it out as to who will control the customer and her information to actually give two shits about what we actually want and need.

    I'm guessing if a significant number (unlikely) of Tesla cars, bus and trucks get built than at least they'll be talking to each other.

  • With Tesla building trucks, terrorists will become optional with the self-driving mode.
    • The terrorist is already optional, at least on site. You only need to be able to install a cell-phone with a data plan as well as the hardware required to remote control the car. No need for self-driving and this can be done by modifying any current car/truck. The terrorist can sit comfortably in ISIS' headquarters while remote controlling the truck. It just happens to be cheaper to sacrifice a terrorist than to build that setup.

  • This makes sense. Tesla is building a battery factory that will be able to build a LOT of batteries. Developing additional uses for their batteries is a natural brand extension.

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